Special Issue on Supporting Disease Prevention and Lifestyle Changes through Gaming
Assoc. Professor Nilufar Baghaei
Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus (OPAIC), Unitec Institute of Technology
Professor Ralph Maddison
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University
National Institute for Health Innovation, University of Auckland
Dr Samantha Marsh
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Auckland
Modifiable lifestyle risk factors (unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and tobacco use) are important drivers of many non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which represent a major cause of death and disability worldwide. It has been projected by the World Health Organization that, by 2030, three-quarters of all deaths worldwide will be due to NCDs. Further, it has been estimated that if the risk factors were eliminated, at least 80% of all heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and over 40% of cancer would be prevented.
Traditional models of healthcare delivery—such as receiving health-related education from nurses, dietitians, and health psychologists—can often be resource intensive and expensive, and has limited reach. Recent research highlights the potential of serious games for motivating and promoting knowledge and lifestyle changes. Serious games (a.k.a. applied games) are designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. Given their ubiquitous use, smartphones and tablet computers in particular offer unprecedented opportunity to support people to make lifestyle change, regardless of their physical location. Such games can provide engaging interactive health education modules, help keep track of progress, and provide feedback on users’ eating and drinking habits and/or physical activities, thus helping people to achieve long-term lifestyle changes through sustained interaction.
The goal of this special issue is to provide an opportunity for health and technology researchers to submit their contribution on the design, implementation, and evaluation of novel games for intervention, support, and persuasion of people to manage their weight and improve their lifestyle. We are interested in theoretically, empirically, and/or methodologically oriented contributions including but not limited to:
- Games for encouraging and persuading people to consume more fruits and vegetable, get enough sleep, drink more water, and/or exercise more
- Games for discouraging smoking and binge drinking
- Games for enhancing health literacy in specific age groups (children, young adults, or senior citizens)
- Games for improving health-related self-efficacy, which could in turn enable users to become more competent in changing their lifestyle
- Games focusing on health-related education
- Games incorporating mobile technologies, internet of things, social media, augmented/virtual/mixed reality
- Evaluation studies showing the effectiveness of a proposed game
- Systematic review of the literature showing current technologies, their effectiveness, and future trends
The deadline for manuscript submission is August 15, 2019. Please submit your papers online to the web-based manuscript submission and peer-review system.
For manuscript submission guidelines and further information about the Journal, please visit the Games for Health Journal website. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts and to your active participation in the Journal!
Contact the Journal Editorial Office.
*When submitting, please include the following acronym: DPLC (standing for Disease Prevention and Lifestyle Changes) at the beginning of the title of your manuscript.